Temecula, Calif. – May 25, 2022 – Hunter action returned this morning at Galway Downs to kick off Nilforushan Equisport Events’ Temecula Valley National II. Running concurrently was the Green 3’3” Hunter and the Performance 3’3” Hunter in Hunter I, promising hunter prospects the chance to vie for the $500 USHJA Green 3’3” Incentive sponsored by ECS as judges made their selections and awarded each ride for their efforts and abilities.
The sun rose on the Hunter I arena to set the scene for top hunter horse-and-rider combinations to try their hand at the beautifully built track. Competition was stiff for the opening day with only 2 points separating the podium finishers. In the end, it was Nick Haness aboard West Coast Equine Partners, LLC’s 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Marilyn, who took top honors in the $500 USHJA Green 3’3” Incentive with an impressive 86 points.
The Green Hunter Incentive Stake is open to horses eligible to compete in the Green Hunters 3’, 3’3”, 3’6”, and 3’9”. The program is designed to encourage the development of young, green hunters. It is multi-faceted and includes the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, regional championships, and stake classes all throughout the country, year round.
Nick Haness and Marilyn stood out amongst the competition that saw all top five combinations score above 80 points. The winning duo jumped in top form while showcasing a rhythmic cadence throughout the entirety of the course. With Haness in the irons, Marilyn most recently placed on the podium at the Blenheim Ranch & Coast Horse Show in the Green 3’3” Hunter. The veteran duo has developed a trusting partnership and continues to add to their success including numerous top wins in the Green Hunters.
Turning heads on course was Jamie Sailor aboard Meadowgrove Farm’s 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Charisto, to take second place. The pair came back to best their winning performance from the USHJA 3’/3’3 Green Hunter Incentive Stake at Blenheim Ranch & Coast Horse Show with a score of 84 points. No stranger to hunter perfection, Sailor headed into the spring and summer series with multiple impressive championships under her belt including wins in the Green Hunters, Jumpers, High Performance Hunters, International Hunter Derbies and Speed Classics.
Rounding out the top three of exceptional competition to take to the Hunter I ring was Lisa Wall aboard Speakeasy. The 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding was turned out in pristine condition to score a 81, helping Wall secure the third-place position on the leaderboard. The pair began working together in 2021 and have built an impressive resume with several big wins in the Green Hunter division.
In the $1,000 USHJA Green 3’6”/3’9” Incentive sponsored by ECS, Gabriela Pattinson impressed the judges with two stand-out rounds, placing third and first in each class of the division with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Caso 2, owned by Carrie Silvano. Nick Haness and the 12-year-old Warmblood, Caldiano, were hot on their heels swapping on and off first and second with Pattinson, coming in a close finish for the Reserve Championship title.
Hunter competition continues this week with the Green 3’9” Hunter on Thursday, $15,000 USHJA International Derby on Friday, Small Pony Hunter division on Saturday and competition wrapping up Sunday with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby.